Friday, April 16, 2010

Don't Go Chasing Crocodiles

Christ has died, now let's go catch a crocodile?

During Semana Santa (Holy Week), some Costa Ricans from the Guanacaste province, go on a crocodile chase called "Lagarteada" (in Spanish, lagarto means lizard). And while this tradition is controversial, it still made its way into the celebrations of Costa Ricans this year (see photos below).
Property of La Nacion

During this unique tradition, men capture a crocodile (with their bare hands) and tie it up in the middle of town. It is then released the following day. And yes, this tradition is protested by animal and environmental activists. Those in charge of the tradtion, however, do promise to take care of them and only trap more mature crocodiles for the event.

It's an old tradition, dating back 150 years. No concrete information explains exactly how this began, but La Nacion describes how villagers used to enter the river to capture crocodiles, tie their snouts, and bring them back to the pueblo where they showed them to the other villagers in a small pool. The next day, they'd let them go.

This year, the article reports that 3,000 people came to see the spectacle.
Property of

To read the full article (and practice your Spanish reading skills), click here.
To read more about how Costa Ricans celebrate Semana Santa, click here.

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